Sunday, August 28, 2005

Happy Birthday

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

German novelist, dramatist, humanist, scientist, philosopher

Author of
Faust and Theory of Colours

A brilliant writer,
Goethe (pronounced ['gø tə]), was one of the paramount figures of German literature and European Neo-classicism and Romanticism in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Inspired Darwin with his independent discovery of the human premaxilla jaw bones and focus on evolution.

Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)

Russian novelist, social reformer, pacifist, Christian anarchist, vegetarian, and moral thinker

One of the greatest of all novelists, particularly noted for his masterpieces
War and Peace and Anna Karenina; in their scope, breadth and realistic depiction of Russian life, the two books stand at the peak of realistic fiction.

His ideas on nonviolent resistance through his work
The Kingdom of God is Within You, greatly influenced Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Reading The Kingdom of God is Within You at an early age (12) is one of the reasons I came to consider myself an anarchist . Though I no longer would claim to be a Christian, Tolstoy's proclaimation of individual worth and dignity remains just as compelling for me today.

Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873)

Irish writer of short stories and mystery novels.

An early practicioner of the genre of horror fiction in its modern form, virtue does not always triumph in his work and easy explanations for supernatural occurrences are not always forthcoming.

Le Fanu's plots are well-crafted and vivid. He specialised in tone and effect rather than shock horror. Still, tales such as the vampire novella
Carmilla can be profoundly effective.

greatly influenced Bram Stoker in the writing of Dracula.

Jack Kirby (1917 – 1994)

American comic book artist

from Wikipedia:

With Joe Simon he created the patriotic hero Captain America for Timely Comics (later Marvel Comics) 1941. Kirby's dynamic perspectives, ground-breaking use of center-spreads, cinematic techniques and exaggerated sense of action made the title an immediate hit and rewrote the rules for comic book art.


Kirby had a hand in the creation of nearly every character for Marvel for the next several years. Some of the highlights include such characters and concepts as the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the original X-Men, the Silver Surfer, the Avengers, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, the Inhumans and their hidden city of Attilan, and the Black Panther and his African nation of Wakanda.


Kirby was often co-plotter of the stories he drew, in the style of the so-called Marvel Method, leading him to introduce elements not mentioned in Lee's scripts; in particular, Kirby is credited as having created the Silver Surfer, who was not mentioned in Lee's plot outline for the character's first appearance. Apparently, Lee asked Kirby for the design of Galactus to be used as a God-like villain in Fantastic Four. Kirby thought that such a powerful villain should have a herald and added a comparatively small figure surfing the air. Lee asked about it, and the Silver Surfer eventually became one of Lee's favourite Marvel characters.

Charles Boyer (1899 –1978)

French actor.

Many to credit him with the never-heard line "Come with me to the casbah." (not uttered in Algiers (1938))

The absolute epitome of French suaveness, he is best known for his role in the 1944 film Gaslight in which he tried to convince Ingrid Bergman's character that she was going insane.

THE SWINE! I mean it's INGRID BERGMAN for ghod's sake! No man lucky enough to be married to her should even look at another woman.

Robertson Davies (1913-1995)

Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor.

One of Canada's best-known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished men-of-letters.

A personal favorite, his books reward repeated reading in a way that few others do.

Donald O'Connor (1925 – 2003)

American singer, dancer and actor

Came to fame in a series of movies in which he co-starred with Francis the Talking Mule.
Best known for his performance as Gene Kelly's fast talking sidekick Cosmo Brown in the movie musical
Singin' in the Rain.

Be it Dead Man's Fang, Arizona or dear old Broadway, he could make us laugh, make us laugh, make us laugh.
Many thanks, Mr. O'Connor!

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